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GAMBIA NEWS FOR FREEDOM AND DEMOCRACY
Teen Age Pregnancy: Who to blame?
Tuesday, October 21, 2008
Pregnancy, in days past was confined to married people, the elderly in particular. This generation has seen no limit to teen-age pregnancy, be they married or not it keeps happening. The argument here is who to blame for the menace in society, as many girls leave the right tract to follow the fast track so as to be seen as following the social trend as others would do. The teen age girl would say it is the boys or men, the men will say the girls attract them and pose as matured women in their dress code and talk style and the parents will say the men are irresponsible and have no regard for the children's future. But the contrast is the case with some people. Augustine Kanjia explores this sensitive area to see what to change before blaming anyone.
Teen-age refers to people in their teens that is thirteen, fourteen, fifteen, sixteen, seventeen, eighteen and nineteen. According to psychology, maturity starts in children around the early teens and children become hyperactive due to the quantity of adrenaline in them. They become sexually active and would love to try everything that comes their way. They become adventurers into the New World. At this stage children's level of thinking increases and urges children to be more argumentative and see their sides of advice as better than even their parents. Parents who are not patient would at a point miss the reality leading them to misunderstand and take to either punishing the teenager or meting harsh treatment on them. The teenager becomes fragile as he or she waits for reactions for what they may have done. Understanding the situation of the teen should become an ongoing thing because many families brand their teens and they go out of hand in a second.
Going out of hand depends on several arguable factors that those culpable would rather shift the blame to the next person and the most culpable blames the less culpable and so on. This has often ignited problem and catastrophe in the life of the teenager. They become sadistic after the confusion in their lives become unbearable. The situation of teenage pregnancy has different dimensions that culminate into either termination, commonly known as abortion, which government banned to preserve the life of the unborn and the mother.
Parents: Certain times some parents are not close to their children, and those children receive no parental love. Others are hard on their children and cannot give their children what they do not have. But again on should not leave out the aspect of poverty in some cases where the child is left to fend for her basic needs to match with time. In some cases, parents are poor but they keep their children close to their hearts and showing them the love they so desire in the absence of money. Others would send their children to look for money so as to feed their home. In the process, they attract the lot of men who have no sympathy for the situation, they rather exploit them and by suggesting to these poor girls for sleeping with them. As explorers of nature and everything around them, the innocent and unsatisfied teen now gives in to satisfy their ego. They would never think of the problems associated to their teen age pregnancy but the instant self gratification they receive and the little amount they will receive to cover up for their coming into such doubtful relationships. This is only the beginning of the many problems associated to child pregnancy, that is not acceptable in society, because "a child cannot care for a child," says Mamie Moijama.
Why Men impregnate teenagers? Let us firstly blame it on lack of morals and respect for their religions, parents or themselves. One may argue that it is it is through mutual acceptance that a male and female meet to get into sexual love, but the men are often on the advantage side and the teenagers on the loosing side. They say yes when money is there and are capable of doing anything when money is seen. Because of the power and upper hand men possess girls become vulnerable in their hands when left in their possession to make decisions. Time for decision becomes a time to give in without decision. Men influence small girls easily especially those with cars and with money. Girls may be stupid but for the sake of religion and the fear of God men should be able to restrain themselves and say no to protect the girl child. "Man becomes a fool when left alone with a naked woman," says Yaboi Sanyang of Talindingjangkunda. Men have their five senses; they are therefore expected to act wisely. But we see how many times men are caught raping little girls with all the punishments that follow, yet men involve themselves in immoral acts as such. No teenage girl has ever raped a man; it is the man that rapes depending on his physic and stature. Men are to be made to understand that these little girls suffer a lot of humiliation during and after their pregnancies.
Some of these pregnant girls who may be school going others awaiting result and some waiting for promotion to the next stage of their lives. These transitional periods are demanding for the teenagers but most men ignore this, to let both the parent and the child suffer emotional stress. Some parents would ask the child out of the house due to their unwanted pregnancies. This adds to the problem of the teenager leading them to frustration and lack of support. Parents are often hard hearted which is understandable. They have a number added to their family, which belongs to someone else and at the end the child grows up and goes searching for their father. Some of their fathers are barely responsible they can take care of nothing, not even their children. The problem continues to press down on the teenager who searched for it, got it and is now tangled in the decision web.
We have seen the many deaths associated to teen-age pregnancy. Even when government banned it and opposes it, people go ahead to do what they think is good for them. The end result has been terrible and often catastrophic. Some have used locally produced herbs that have the power to let them bleed. Others have drunk different solutions only to meet their tragic end. Yet others keep searching for pregnancies and end up aborting and they end up bleeding to death. Others, as small as they may be go ahead with their pregnancies and struggle with their babies later. Parents may assist if the child is remorseful or else she bears the blunt of it all.
Parents may not want to accept the blame; the men too would not take the blame, what about the society? Society has a part to play including the school. Nowadays teachers are seeing holding children and are often accused of loving to them and many end up marrying their students. They have a vital role to play in the up bring of these teenagers. The community often sees the beginning of the love between teenagers and men but the culture of silence makes it impossible to know what truly is happening.
Government has played its part but man has not adhered to their laws. UNICEFF and others have advocated hard but it keeps happening. Many parents are left in tears as they see their children die. Stories keep emerging of the deaths of young girls who could have been good mothers in the future and future leaders in all fields but end up in naught. The blame should be seen from the teenagers' angle to the men and to the parents and society at large. But blaming others means shifting the responsibility. The pregnancy happens and it happens to the teenagers, they should avoid what brings it about because other teenage girls live their lives and grow up get their qualifications, marry and begin their lives. If such has been happening thank God and follow the same trend and avoid cheap excuses only to be impregnated for peanuts and you suffer for your life. Men should treat the girl child as their own and never to love to them until they can make decisions on their own. Not teen age decisions. The decision rests on the teenagers, parents and above all irresponsible boys.
Children should know that their parents do not hate them when they advise them for their good. Those who do not advise are the ones who spoil them. Children should stick to their parents with God all things are possible. The men should remember that every parent wants their child to be prosperous, impregnating them prematurely would cause distress and strife in their families no matter how you apologise to these angry parents and they say go in peace your sins are forgiven. You abort is a problem, you leave it as it is a problem and a set back what do you do? Answer: Stay away from it!
Author: Augustine Kanjia
Source: Picture: Temptation